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Posts Made By: Ted Slotwinski

September 7, 2003 10:59 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Trading guidelines

Posted By Ted Slotwinski

I have some general questions to ask the forum in regard to trading equipment on Astromart. What have your experiences been and what safegards have you used (if any) to help ensure the trade went as planned? I'd like to think the vast majority here are honest, but in cyberspace you never really know who you're dealing with until the deal is done.

So if you wanted to proceed with a trade of one telescope for another (value > $1000), how would you go forward? Note that the parties involved live in different regions of the country, so a face to face exchange is out of the question.

Thanks for the feedback.

September 16, 2003 03:56 PM Forum: Meade

Mounting dovetail rail on LX3 OTA

Posted By Ted Slotwinski

I want to use my old LX3 on a LXD55 mount. I've got a dovetail rail that will fit the mount. It can be bolted between the front and rear OTA housings, but I'll need to drill and tap new holes. Anyone done this before that can offer some advice before I barrel ahead and get myself in trouble?

November 3, 2003 12:56 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Excelsis website

Posted By Ted Slotwinski

... has been down for at least 4 days. Anyone know what's up? I enjoyed reading the reviews and opinions there.

January 3, 2004 10:07 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Caution when selling astro gear abroad ...

Posted By Ted Slotwinski

Well, I found a nasty surprise in my mailbox yesterday that I though I'd pass along. Consider this food for thought for those of you who might be selling astro goodies to someone outside the US.

The surprise was from FedEx and concerned the first item I ever sold here on Astromart ... my old ETX90. The sale was made last June, to a fellow in Canada. We had some nice email exchanges and he paid via Paypal with no problems. The scope was received on his side in good condition and my last email contact from him was that he was happy with the scope.

However, it appears that he has neglected/refused to pay for the import duties (approx $40US). As FedEx apparently has been unsucessful collecting the duties from him, they have now informed me that according to their policies, "the shipper is responsible for duty, taxes and brokerage fees when they cannot be collected from the consignee." Not a very nice way to start the new year. Granted it's not a huge sum, but it is approx 30% of the total sales price. I don't know if the other major carriers (UPS, DHL, Airborne, etc) have this policy, but I suspect they do.

Now I'm sure there are many here who have had no problems selling to responsible folks abroad. But it is something to think about ... For my part, I will not be selling to anyone outside the US unless thay have a long and distinguished feedback record here on Astromart.

March 15, 2004 05:01 PM Forum: DVDs and Music and Books That You Recommend

Winged Migration

Posted By Ted Slotwinski

Just saw this DVD. This is the result of a four year study of migratory birds throughout the world. The photography is AMAZING (you're basically flying as one of the flock) and the soundtrack very well done also.

As an added astronomy bonus, at the 1 hr mark, there is a brief view at a passing flock from inside the dome of the Pic du Midi Observatory in the Pyreneans mountains (southwest corner of France). I believe the scope seen is either the 1 or 2 meter reflector.

March 16, 2004 06:28 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

TV 2" Powermate vs. Big Barlow

Posted By Ted Slotwinski

Has anyone used both? The TV website says that the Big Barlow cannot be used with diagonals ... true? Thanks.

April 23, 2004 11:36 AM Forum: DVDs and Music and Books That You Recommend

Gods and Generals

Posted By Ted Slotwinski

I like historical movies and documentaries. I also enjoy Robert Duval. The battle scenes were probably as accurately depicted as possible, but on the whole this movie was WAY too long and boring.

July 12, 2004 10:22 PM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

Rename this the Monty Python forum ... ?

Posted By Ted Slotwinski

Poster ... "Hello, I've come to ..."

Responder ... "You snotty little piece of animal droppings. Your type makes me puke. You're nothing but a perverted, idiotic, spinless version of a human that really ...."

Poster ... "Wait a minute, I've only come here for an arguement."

Responder ... "Arguement? Oh sorry, this is abuse. Arguements are down the hall. You stupid git."

September 9, 2003 01:00 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Astro Software.

Posted By Ted Slotwinski

I also recently purchased SkyTools2 and am in the "learning phase". Seems like a very good package so far. Lots of info and fairly easy to use. I purchased this based on the review I read at Rod Mollise's Astroland website. If you go there check out the back issues of his Skywatch newsletter.
The Jan/Feb 2003 issue has details of Skytools 2.
The Sep/Oct 2002 issue has details of AstroPlanner, Megastar 5, DeepSky 2002 and Cartes du Ciel.
The May/June 2003 issue has details of Deepsky 2003.

September 11, 2003 11:16 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

HELP!!!!!Any one own a Meade lxd55 SN-8 telescope

Posted By Ted Slotwinski

After struggling with my LXD55 / AR-5 for several months now and reading many similiar experiences on other boards, my comments would be:

1. I hope you get one of the better units ... but your chances are probably 50/50.

2. The FIRST thing you should do is go to the LXD55Telescopes group on Yahoo and download the Tips & Tricks guide. It will help you while you perform the many upgrades needed on the mount and OTA for best performance.

3. Before you take it back home, assemble and test here in the US. It will be much easier to send back a lemon while you're here. Maybe you can have the dealer you purchased this from do it before your arrival. You might have to pay them, but if you get one with serious problems, it might save you a plane ticket.

Good luck!